Times are harder than ever and everyone, businesses and customers alike, are keeping a closer eye on their cash flow. So what does this mean for you as a business owner or director of a company?
It translates to less risk taking and a lowered likelihood of splashing out on things like employee training. In a crisis, those things seen as the “nice to haves” are often the first things to go. But what if you could simply negotiate a better deal with your suppliers, save or generate more available cash as a result, and be able to carry on investing in your employees and customers, so that everyone is a winner? Let’s find out how.
1. Just Negotiate
There is almost always room for manoeuvre in any deal. And remember, negotiation is not always about money – you can negotiate on many terms that may positively impact your business and your profit. Product or service availability and quality both affect profit, as do things like delivery timelines and payment terms. You may save a great deal of money on a sub-par product initially, but then lose that money and more when your customers return the product and vow to never hand their money over to you again.
2. Beware Long Term ‘Comfort’
The longer you work with a supplier, the more likely you are to develop a good working relationship. Over time you build up a relationship and you hope to slowly move higher on that supplier’s priority list as you become a valued customer. As a long-term customer, a supplier may be more likely to do you a decent deal as a thank you for your repeat custom. However, this is not always the case, in fact it can be the reverse, where new clients pin the supplier down to a better deal which is being in part funded by those loyal long term customers like you who just don’t rock the boat. So always be aware of long term lethargy where things get just a bit too comfortable, and raise the subject of price and terms with your main suppliers every once in a while.
3. Connect Within Your Network
Often those who are known as the ‘go to person’ are held in very high esteem by others, and this can be said of organisations too. If you have suppliers and customers, then essentially you are in the middle of that relationship. You can bet that almost certainly most of your B2B customers and suppliers will be interested in building their own revenue streams, so how can you help in both directions? You can connect your own suppliers with your own relevant customers and vice versa, and potentially add a huge amount of value to both which then reflects back on you in terms of both customer advocacy and supplier support and terms.
4. Satisfied Customers
The final result of having great negotiation skills with suppliers is satisfied customers who are more likely to return. If you can keep your supplier on side by paying on time, negotiating terms of delivery that work for them, too, and keeping an open line of communication, you are more likely to keep your customers happy, in the end.
For more help and advice on how to negotiate with your suppliers or customers, PDW are the experts to talk to. If you’re interested in securing better deals and improving your commercial performance as a result, investing in our unique commercial and negotiation training could be just what you need. Click here to contact us and find out more.
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